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Tsitsipas : “The Australian Open ? I’m not really sure…”

Stefanos Tsitsipas hopes he will have time to recover between the ATP Cup and the start of the Australian Open. “I tried to avoid the pain” ha said after his loss against Diego Schwartzmann.

Stefanos Tsitsipas, ATP Cup 2022 © AI / Reuters / Panoramic

Stefanos Tsitsipas, it was a tough loss, but was it a good test to see where you're at physically?

Stefanos Tsitsipas : It was good to see myself perform at such a level. I didn’t expect it. It worked out better than I thought. I was able to hit balls that I was scared to hit two weeks ago, so heading towards the right direction. It was a very close match, and I enjoyed it, despite losing again. I enjoyed fighting. I enjoyed the thrill of it. I enjoyed the atmosphere that the people created.

How would you say the arm is feeling right now?

Tsitsipas : I’m in a little bit of pain. That’s normal. I served more serves than I have ever served at the last one month. I served near 180 serves today I think. I have been practicing, trying to get 50, 60 serves. I tried to avoid the pain. But I got to finish the match somehow.

Was there anything out there that you could not do tonight that you would have wanted to because of the arm?

Tsitsipas : My serve. My serve dropped a lot. I was just unable. I don’t like excuses. But I was not at 100% to serve the serves that I wanted. And I really wish now I could have avoided the pain and served better, because it would have helped me a lot.

What are your hopes for the Australian Open? Are you hoping you'll be fully fit and able to contend for the title there again?

Tsitsipas : I don’t know what my future plans are for this tournament. I’m not really sure. I’d love to play, but I really don’t know how I’m going to feel tomorrow. That was one of the biggest concerns : if I’m going to play this match today, how is the recovery going to be tomorrow ? It was the issue with the doubles on Sunday. I finished the doubles. The next day, I couldn’t serve. I was unable. I was in a lot of pain. So I’m really hoping to be able to walk on court tomorrow and practice some serves without pain. That’s my biggest goal right now, to have 100% recovery on my elbow. I have done lots of things in the last couple of weeks to try and protect it as much as I can and get it to 100% again. So I focus on my health and well-being more than any other thing right now.

My recovery was much better than he would have expected in comparison with some other players that he has treated in the past

Stefanos Tsitsipas about his doctor

How concerned are you about the serving aspect going into the Australian Open?

Tsitsipas : Look, I mean, it gets better and better every single day, almost. My serve did let me down today, but I think we have plenty of time before the Australian Open begins, and I think if I take the right precautions and follow what my doctor says, then I can see myself performing at 100% at the Australian Open. Going into that surgery (on November 25th, editor’s note), even the doctor was unsure if it’s a good idea to perform and play the Australian Open. My recovery was much better than he would have expected in comparison with some other players that he has treated in the past, so he was surprised. He came to Dubai and he was surprised to see me hitting almost close to 100%. I guess I don’t know. Good genes, DNA, I don’t know.

Is there any risk, do you think, at this point of you not playing?

Tsitsipas : Not playing where ?

At the Australian Open.

Tsitsipas : How many days do we have?

Two weeks (January 17th, editor's note)

Tsitsipas : That is enough, I believe. But I haven’t had one before, so I don’t know. It’s my first time experiencing something like this.

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